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peejay alexander

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Thank you for visiting. I would be honoured if you would read the following article.

How to Succeed. (or why you sometimes don't) A young artist left college with his degree (just), but badly shaken. He took a job as a grease monkey in an engineering factory to give himself time to get his head together. He was bored there, and used to sing praise songs to pass the time. (Nobody cared, it was so loud in there no-one could hear him.) One day he was working on a very unstable bench drilling out aluminium components. The bench was so bad the accepted failure rate was 3 from 5! Out of sheer boredom he asked God to speak to him, not for any reason, just to have someone to talk to. Immediately the young artist saw in his mind a potter, working at his wheel outside on a hilltop. Opposite the hill was a great and beautiful mountain. On top of the mountain was a golden city. The potter would gaze at the city, draw inspiration from it, then work on his pots. The artist then saw (?) there was an invisible helper at the potters elbow, guiding his hands. As time went on, the potter grew less interested in the city, and more interested in his work. By the time he was ready to fill his kiln, he no longer even looked at the city. The firing took two fretful days. The kiln was switched off on the second evening, and the potter went to bed ready to be up early next morning when the kiln had cooled. Before the potter woke, the invisible helper opened the kiln, carefully removed one of the pots and set it aside. Then with a big stick, he smashed all the remaining pots, then closed and re-sealed the kiln door, and left with the pot. When the potter opened his kiln he was devastated. He went from rage to despair. He didn't touch his wheel for weeks. He hardly ate. He was suicidal. One day the potter was sitting moping, when the invisible helper came to him. He showed the potter how beautiful the mountain and the city were, and gradually nudged and prompted the potter to begin work once more. The young artist watched in outrage as exactly the same thing happened again. This time, when the helper came to destroy the pots, the young artist (somehow) interrupted the vision, stepped into it and began arguing with the helper. For an answer the helper took the young artist over to the city on the mountain. There, just OUTSIDE the city walls was a long low building, the Trophy Room. Inside was a long corridor lined with pedestals. On each of the pedestals was a pot. One from each of the batches the potter had made. Starting at the door they were crude and misshapen, but each was better than the last. The helper took the artist about a third of the way down the room and placed his last pot on the latest pedestal. There were very many left empty. The penny was beginning to drop in the artist's mind. Nevertheless he asked what was at the end of the room. The helper took him to a single golden pedestal with lights shining on it, surrounded by sumptuous curtains. "This," the helper declared, "is the place reserved for the pot the potter will eventually make." "But why the pain?" demanded the artist. "Why not just tell him what he's supposed to do?" "If we did that," answered the helper, "he would be so scared he wouldn't attempt it." "Then can you at least tell the poor guy that he will one day make this pot? Can't you at least give him some hope?" "Child," answered the helper, "I just did!" With that the young artist was back in the factory. While he was 'gone', his hands had drilled out 99 perfect components. He started to concentrate on his work and went back to the usual failure rate. For years the young artist misinterpreted the vision. Because he was a young christian, new in faith, he believed it had something to do with worthiness. He thought that the failure was somehow a 'punishment' for taking his eyes from the Holy City, because of impure motivation - or some such super-spiritual cobblers. It wasn't. It is a message to that artist, and all artists. The gift we have is from God himself. It was given in love to allow us to share His joy in creation. When we fail, it is not because we are 'not good enough', or 'unworthy', IT IS BECAUSE WE SETTLE FOR 'GOOD ENOUGH', WE SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST. The potters work had to be smashed to stop him being satisfied with it, accepting it as done when he was capable of so much more. If we present work that is anything less than the best we can mortally do, then we are cheating. We are not cheating our families or our clients, we are not cheating the community , each other, or even God. WE ARE CHEATING OURSELVES. We have a chance to take one step closer to that final pot, and we don't take it. It has taken the (now not so young) artist years to realise what the vision meant. If you are reading this please do not do the same. You have a fabulous, magical, beautiful gift. Whatever stage you are at on that journey, use it to the very very best of your ability, and may the God of peace be with you. In the name of Jesus.

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